As mentioned in an earlier post (see: Eighteen Arhats: Overview) I took pictures of each of the eighteen statues beside the walkway to the Great Buddha hall at Chuang Yen monastery.
Now I have eighteen pictures. How do I present them in this blog? Clearly one post with 18 pictures would be too much. The statues are conveniently organized into two groups: a group of 9 statues on each side of the walkway. Still too much for one post! Maybe I should break it into groups of three statues per post: 6 posts in all. I didn’t like this idea much. It seemed to break the groupings unnaturally.
I finally came to the image you see above: a single image containing all of the statues from one side of the walkway. This is not ideal as each of the individual pictures is rather small. Maybe one day (when I’ve figured out how to do it and have the energy) I’ll treat each of the images as a thumbnail with a link to the larger image.
The text below provides the descriptions from the plaques at the base of each statue (tortured English and all). Read left to right, top to bottom.
1. Pindola Bharadvaja Thera. Pindola Bharadvaja, a son of the chaplain for a royal family was declared by the Buddha as chief of the ‘lion roarers’. He indulged himself with gastronomic pleasure before attaining the arahantship by conquering his intemperance in diet.
2. Rahula Thera. Rahula, the son of the Prince Siddhartha, respected as the foremost in inconspicuous practice. He became a novice monk at age seven under the guidance of Sariputta and Moggallana, and attained arahantship at the age of eighteen.
3. Gavampati Thera. Gavampati, a son of renowned family joined the community at age of seven. When the Buddha visited where he lived, a river rose at night and there was great dismay. He stemmed the flood by his supernatural power.
4. Punna Mantaniputta Thera. Punna Mantaniputta excelled in expounding the Dhamma and was an excellent example with a mission and desire to serve others. In spite of the fierce and rough environment he went back to his native land and propagated the Dhamma to his people.
5. Anuruddha Thera. Anuruddha, a cousin of the Buddha and one of the five head disciples of the Buddha. He ranked foremost amongst those who had obtained the divine eyes. Being an affectionate and loyal monk he was foremost in consoling the monks with divine eyes.
6. Bakkula Thera. Bakkula was freed from disease and the foremost in good health. As a descendant of a prominent governmental administrator he enjoyed a prosperous life before he heard of the Buddha sermon, renounced the world and attained arahantship at the age of eighty.
7. Upali Thera. Upali was declared by the Buddha to be the most proficient of those who were learned in the Vinaya (Discipline Code). Being born as an outcaste he was a barber who once cut the Buddha’s hair. He also showed every concern for the sick of the monks in the community.
8. Revata Thera. The Buddha declared Revata, the younger brother of Sariputta, to be the foremost among forest dwellers, and pre-eminent in concentration state (jhana). He renounced the worldly life by realizing the impermanence of human body.
9. Subhuti Thera. The Buddha praised Subhuti as the foremost in realizing the nature of emptiness (Sunnata) and pre-eminent in compassion. He appears in most of the Mahayana sutras explaining the concept of the perfection of wisdom.